Baltimore, MD – Chris Davis hit a game-changing grand slam in the bottom of the eighth inning as the Baltimore Orioles battled back to down the Minnesota Twins, 9-5, on Friday in the team's home opener at Camden Yards.
Davis, who finished with two hits and five RBI, joined Major League Baseball history, becoming just the fourth player to have homered in four straight games to start the season. Also on that rare list is San Francisco's Willie Mays in (1971), St.Louis' Mark McGwire (1998) and Texas' Nelson Cruz (2011).
"It's kind of the same thing that was going on toward the end of last year," Davis said. "I felt I was relaxed and being patient in the box. I don't think I have anything magical."
Adam Jones chipped in with a 3-for-5 effort with two RBI and three runs scored and Matt Wieters and Nick Markakis each had two hits for the Orioles. Manny Machado and J.J. Hardy added one hit and one RBI in the victory for Baltimore, which has won three of four to start the season.
Starter Jake Arrieta, who made his second straight home opener for the O's, tossed five innings and allowed five runs on seven hits while striking out five and walking two.
Brian Dozier paced Minnesota with two hits, one run scored and three RBI, while Chris Parmelee and Eduardo Escobar drove in one run apiece in the setback.
The Twins dropped their season opener versus Detroit, but won the next two games to clinch their first series versus the Tigers at home since 2010. Liam Hendriks gave up four runs on eight hits over 4 2/3 innings.
Minnesota reliever Casey Fien (0-1) got into some trouble in the eighth with the Twins up 5-4. After the first two batters of the inning reached on singles, Machado hit a fielders choice back to the mound, but the runners advanced to second and third which forced Fien to intentionally walk Markakis and load the bases.
Jones then singled to left scoring one to tie the contest at 5-5.
Minnesota called upon reliever Tyler Robertson, but the lefty tossed a costly fast ball down the middle with his first pitch and Davis made him pay with a grand slam to the opposite field to put the O's in front 9-5.
"You have to go left-on-left and do the best you can. My pitcher threw a fastball. I'd hope that you bring in a left-hander he'd throw a slider," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said of Robertson. "I don't want to see a fastball in the middle of the plate. We'll have to talk about that one."
Pedro Strop set the Twins down in order in the ninth to finish the game.
After Troy Patton relieved Arrieta with two men on in the sixth inning, Dozier singled through the hole into right field to bring home Ryan Doumit, who had walked to lead off the frame, to make it 5-4 in favor of the visitors.
Luis Ayala (1-0) pitched well though following Patton and allowed two hits over 1 2/3 innings.
Jones made it a 4-3 contest with a double off the centerfield wall in the fifth and advanced to third base on a fielding error by Doumit. Davis tied the game at 4-4 a couple of pitches later with a sacrifice fly to center which scored Jones.
Trailing 4-1 in the bottom of the fourth, the Orioles loaded the bases with no outs. Hardy hit a slow roller to Escobar who tried to make a play for third baseman Trevor Plouffe, but his foot missed the bag allowing not only a run to score, but also, all runners to remain safe.
Hendriks, though, retired the next three Baltimore batters to get out of the jam and keep it a two-run game.
Josh Willingham kicked off the top of the fourth inning with a double to left field then Justin Morneau walked to put two runners on. Arrieta fanned the next two batters he faced but the Twins picked up the bats.
Parmelee singled to center scoring Willingham and Dozier cleared the bases with a triple to right field and Escobar added to the damage with a single to center to make it 4-1 Minnesota.
Nate McLouth helped the home team really with two outs in the third with a single to center field and a stolen base to move into scoring position. Machado then gave the O's a 1-0 lead with a single up the middle.
Davis now has 16 RBI through four games this season ... Hendriks started 16 games over his rookie campaign last year and went 1-8 with a 5.59 ERA ... The Orioles placed second basemen Brian Roberts on the 15-day disabled list earlier on Friday after he injured his hamstring in a loss at Tampa Bay on Thursday. The team recalled infielder Yamaico Navarro from Triple-A Norfolk ... Baltimore is 40-20 in home openers all-time.